When Should Small Business Owners Consider Full Time IT Staffing?
As small business owners face a dearth or small business loan options, Federal regulations, the new healthcare market and a slew of industry related concerns, they are also growing and adapting to an increasingly internet reliant commercial world. Because of the heavy emphasis of internet based communications in modern business, small businesses will generally need an IT staff after they hit a certain point in their growth. Knowing when this goes from a nice to have to a need to have is an important part of managing your small business, considering that not only is IT a powerful resource and business accelerator, but also a potential major pitfall when mismanaged. Here are some signs that can indicate to small business owners that they should seriously consider making the time and capital investments required to secure a full time IT staff.
Do you have tech savvy employees who wind up helping others a large amount of the time? If you have a multi-generational staff in particular, it could be the case that some of your employees are spending a large amount of their time picking up the slack, killing their ability to be productive. While many business owners are unwilling to take on full time IT support because of the costs, the actual costs of lost productivity on the part of your team may be much more than the cost of setting up a strong network. The great thing about IT is that, apart from fixing issues in your current system, an IT professional should also be able to take steps to improve your processes and integrate time and productivity saving steps including cloud technology.
Do you have sensitive client or employee information that needs to be better taken care of? Small business owners should be aware that they are not able to shrug off the very real threats of cyber crime and identity theft that effect larger businesses, such as the major retailer Target that saw many accounts hacked. At the very least, administering and acting on the recommendations of a security audit can keep your business information more secure, and business owners should strongly consider a full time hire that can ensure that they properly update and follow protocols designed to keep information out of the hands of those who would abuse it.
Do you have a high degree of reliance on remaining connected to the internet? If your business has a heavy reliance on a fast internet connection to get things done, then it is most likely in your best interest to keep at least one technician on hand who is able to keep your network up and running as long as you need it to be. Think of your business as a race-car, with your internet connectivity standing in as your engine. You should have reliable pit crew on hand in order to make sure that your business can keep speeding along. All told, the costs of a reliable IT professional can usually be far outweighed by their ability to contribute a higher degree of efficiency to managing your small business.
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